Between Darkness and Light – Comet ISON

comet over Istanbul in 1577

On 21 September 2012 05:15AM, a comet named ISON was discovered at the ISON-Kislovodsk observatory, Russia. It is believed that ISON may prove to be brighter than a full moon when it is set to appear by the end of 2013.

This is the election chart for the discovery:

The picture below shows the path of comet ISON with its perihelion in 06*49′ Sagittarius, on 28 November 2013:

(via the website of the Planetary Society,

In 1680 William Greene already mentions comets in signs in his Memento to the World, writing about the appearance of a comet in Sagittarius:

 “In Sagitary it denotes Evil to Great Men, Controversies about Religion and Laws, Feavers and other dangerous Infirmities”

He also quotes a poem by Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas from 1578:

  “Here in the Night appears a flaming Spire,

There a fierce Dragon folded, all in fire;

Here a bright Comet, there a fiery stream,

Here flying Lances, there a burning Beam;

Here seems an Horned Goat, environed round,

With fiery flakes, about the air to bound,

There with long, Bloody Hair, a Blazing Star,

Threatening the World with Famine, Plague and War.

To Princes Death, to Kingdoms many Crosses,

To all Estates inevitable losses,

To Herdsmen Rots, to Ploughman hapless seasons,

To Sailors Storms, to Cities civil Treason.”

Around the time of its perihelion, at the end of November 2013, comet ISON will be conjunct the fixed star Dschubba sitting at the head of the constellation Scorpio. Dschubba is believed to be of the nature of Mars and has some of Saturn’s characteristics as well.

Reinhold Ebertin writes in Die Bedeutung der Fixsterne, that  Dschubba would be detrimental:

“[t]o material wealth, it causes problems, difficulties, impediments and loss.” (p.55)

This similarity to the greater and lesser malefic suggests that Dschubba is close in nature to comets, which are, as we have seen before, bringer of famine, plague and war.  We can therefore conclude that the conjunction between comet and fixed star will enhance the potential for negative occurrences.

Due to the precession of the equinoxes the constellation of Scorpius overlaps with the tropical zodiac sign of Sagittarius. To be able to try and predict the events symbolized by comet ISON, we have to consider both, the sidereal Scorpius and the tropical Sagittarius to get a clearer picture.

Diana Rosenberg says about the region of Scorpius/Sagittarius in her Secrets of the Ancient Skies, that:

“[t]his is an area of night, the Serpent and the Scorpio, both denizens of dark, hidden places … dominate these longitudes … There is a direct conflict here between expansive, congenial tropical Sagittarius and the dark Scorpion underlying him.” (vol.2, p.272)

Manilius said about Scorpio that it would preside over armaments and makes men’s minds burn with eagerness for war; their hearts rejoice in the flow of blood, for slaughter as much as for acquiring booty.

But then we have to consider as well that there must be a calmer, more enlightened influence, coming from the tropical sign of Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter, the greater benefic. And, looking at the comet’s path again, we can see that after its perihelion, ISON will move sharply to the north, encountering Ophiuchus, the shaman. He is the mediator between heaven and earth, source of all wisdom and healing. But Ophiuchus is also forever encircled by the Serpent, forever struggling in a fight neither of them can win.

So after all it seems when dealing with the influence and possible effect of comet ISON we are reminded of a sentence from the Tabula Smaragdina:

That which is below is as that which is above, and that which is above is as that which is below, to perform the miracles of the one thing. 

With the appearance of comet ISON, the eternal struggle of darkness against light is once again played out in the heavens as well as on earth. Will Ophiuchus, the shaman, magician and healer, be successful in his battle against merciless violence, destruction, greed, and over-inflated materialism, and be able to keep the coming events, symbolised by comet ISON, which is so similar to the Serpent he is struggling with eternally, under his control?

As an addendum it should be noted that, according to Manilius and Ptolemy, Scorpio reigns over the eastern North African area, including Syria, Algeria, Morocco, and Libya .


Comet ISON – the interactive model:

Keep track of comet ISON with the help of the ISON Comet of 2013 Astrology Viewer 1.0:


The Astronomy & Astrology of Comet ISON

3 thoughts on “Between Darkness and Light – Comet ISON

  1. Wonderous Dr. Stock, merciful God have pity – of us.
    Memento to the world – is one extraordinary title.
    Just after the anihilation threats of the Maya calendar, more dread from the depths of out there.
    Delighting as usual in reading your posts and interpretations, and with the BEST wishes for the new Year.

  2. ISON Comet of 2013 Astrology Viewer 1.0

    Keep track of this ‘once-in-a-civilisation’s-lifetime event’ – or leastwise ‘once-in-a-lifetime light show’. ISON Comet of 2013 Astrology Software displays the celestial path and the tropical positions of this unique comet, it presents simultaneously the estimated apparent magnitudes (below and above naked eye visibility) and the values of its distance from Earth.
    It is freeware, you can download it at

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